Agence India Press
Srinagar: On the Indian Republic Day, thousands of security personnel can be seen on the streets of Kashmir guarding the region from any mishap that may further foment anti India sentiments.
However, the harline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked people to observe the day with a complete shutdown. The call for general strike was supported by other separatist groups also.
Valley reeling under tight security arrangements for past over two weeks felt respite after much-hyped Republic-day celebrations were peacefully held across Kashmir region.
The Republic-Day celebrations, which had become a point of prestige for the government in view of BJP’s Ekta Yatra and JKLF proposed flag march rally to Lal Chowk on Clock Tower but amid tight security arrangements foil the flag march.
Clock Tower at Lal Chowk, was also cordoned off early morning by security forces. No one was allowed to pass through the tower.
Curfew like restrictions eased in summer capital and other major towns didn’t allow people and vehicular movement though major markets remained closed. Expectedly an eerie calm prevailed in Kashmir valley on Republic-Day amid a general strike and curfew like restrictions.
“This evening, I moved out to local market in Jawahar Nagar after remaining confined indoors’ for more than 36 hours,” Faisal Ahmad of Jawahar Nagar told Agence India Press.
To ensure hassle-free celebrations, the summer capital and other major towns were brought under tight security cover at least two weeks prior to the event. Until late this evening, Lal Chowk and Bakshi stadium were out of bounds for people in wake of tight security arrangements.
Bakshi Stadium, the main venue of Republic day celebrations was turned into a fortress with heavy presence of CRPF troops and police. Several of barricades were laid along the routes leading to the venue which was secured by sharp shooters, bomb disposal squads. The movement around the Stadium was consistently monitored through CCTV’s.
Children were seen playing cricket on deserted roads in interior parts of the city, which comparatively witnessed thin security deployment.
According to Agence India Press city reporter, no movement was seen on roads as the deserted summer capital was guarded by security forces’ holding automatic weapons and carrying batons.
All shops, private offices, banks and financial institutions, petrol pumps, business establishments remained closed throughout the day due to restrictions and the strike. Public and private transport was also off on all the major roads and highways across the region. (AIP)
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